Personalities can change, but values don’t

by | Jul 28, 2010 | Branding Strategies

“Hello ladies. Look at your man. Now back to me. Now back at your man. Now back to me. Sadly he isn’t me, but if he stopped using lady scented bodywash he could smell like he is me.” – Isiah Mustafa, Old Spice Guy.

Priceless. This is one of my favorite quotes. Proctor & Gamble along with their ad agency Wieden+Kennedy have done a brilliant job repositioning Old Spice. Before P&G acquired the brand in 1990, Old Spice was a stodgy old deodorant brand. It wasn’t associated with youth. It was associated with grandfathers.

Not anymore. Enter Isaiah Mustafa, the popular character in the Old Spice commercials. He represents the new manliness of Old Spice.

P&G re-branded Old Spice to communicate to a much larger market. Its sales were flagging and they needed to change. Change they did. According to the Nielsen Company, in the 3 months following the introduction of Mustafa, Old Spice’s sales increased 55%. And sales over the past month are up 107%.

These are impressive numbers. When you connect with your customers in a meaningful way, great things happen.

Old Spice didn’t change. Its personality changed.

Old Spice didn’t reinvent itself. It reinvented its image. Times change. Industries change. People change. Change is inevitable. To stay relevant and vibrant, brands have to keep up.

Brand personalities are malleable. They have to be adjusted and even overhauled to deal with the times. Typically companies have to adjust their brand personalities every 5 to 7 years. Sometimes it can go longer, but that’s not likely in our current market.

Companies are facing a period of incredible change with the growth of the Internet and social media. Customers are interacting with companies at unprecedented levels, and their expectations are very high. They aren’t accepting the old, stodgy brands of yesterday. They want to engage with companies in a meaningful way.

These dynamic market changes provide an exciting branding opportunity for organizations. They can draw out what makes them remarkable, and engage with their customers in a meaningful way. Old Spice is a great example of a consumer brand that’s been very effective in re-branding and repositioning itself for the times. You can connect with Mustafa on Twitter, message him on YouTube and have a two-way dialogue. It’s more than entertainment. It’s communication.

Core Values are just that: Core Values

The challenge with re-branding is some companies go too far. They try to re-write their DNA, and be something completely new.

Unlike your brand personality, values don’t change. They’re fixed. You are who you are. If you try to break your corporate values you may crash and burn. Your customers can smell insincerity a mile away. It’s all about authenticity.

Companies have to update their brand personalities from time-to-time. That’s healthy. But don’t lose sight of who you are. Your customers choose you for a reason. Your employees work for you for a reason. This is the secret sauce. To have a truly successful brand personality you must stay true to your core values.

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Jeremy Miller

Top 30 Brand Guru

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